Martin Freeman says he has smacked his children
Actor Martin Freeman says he has smacked his children, and has at times called them “little f******”.
The Hobbit star, who has two children with his former partner Amanda Abbington, said parenting is the “best thing” he will ever do, but said it is also “really hard”.
Freeman said he is “not proud” of the fact he has smacked his children, adding that he was “impatient and at the end of my rope”.
In an interview with The Sunday Times Culture magazine about his new sitcom Breeders, in which he plays a father, he said: “That is another frustrating thing about parenting, and what makes you feel like a failure.
“All the images we’re getting about how to parent if you’re a nice, arty person are a series of rules we all either adhere to or pretend to.
“You know, positive affirmation and everything is great, and you’re perfect the way you are. Well, you’re not. One of the rules is, don’t smack your kids or call them little f******.”
He went on to say: “But, you know, I’ve done both. I’ve probably smacked twice, but I’ve called them little f****** more than twice.
“I know I’m not supposed to do it, but there are so many images about how [parenting] all just has to be brilliant that it makes people feel bad. Because it’s not brilliant.
“I mean, it is – it’s the best thing I’ll do. But that doesn’t mean it’s not really hard.
“This idea you only ever rationalise with a toddler? Genuinely, good luck. If you can do that, God go with you. Amazing.”
Freeman told the magazine: “Obviously, it’s a good idea not to hit your kids.”
Last month, the Welsh Assembly voted to introduce a smacking ban in Wales.
Assembly Members voted 36 to 14 in favour of the Welsh Government bill, which sees the country join 58 other nations including Scotland to end the physical punishment of children.
Ministers say the legislation will come into force in 2022 after gaining Royal Assent, but opponents of the new law say it will criminalise parents and increase pressure on already-stretched social services.
It is the first divergence of core criminal law between Wales and England, where parents would still be able to legally physically punish a child as long as it is deemed “reasonable”.